Forget counting your steps, this is the key metric you should be tracking instead 1 year ago

Forget counting your steps, this is the key metric you should be tracking instead

Brought to you by WHOOP

Turns out tracking your steps isn't as helpful as you'd have thought...


While there's no harm in hitting 10,000 steps a day, it doesn't always represent how meaningful your workout actually was.

Given the purpose of exercise is to get your heart pumping, it'll depend on whether those steps actually achieve that for you. It's possible to walk a few miles without your heart rate rising significantly and, if this is the case for you, you might need to rethink the metrics you're using.

Plus, tracking your steps doesn't measure the value of some really effective aerobic activities like weightlifting, swimming, rock climbing or yoga. While these exercises don't require a lot of steps, each of them can have huge benefits for your overall health.


So, with that in mind, you might be wondering what you should be tracking instead to ensure you're making the most out of your workouts.

The answer is... STRAIN

WHOOP fitness wearables measure strain instead of steps.

This means's it's analysing what your heart rate is doing during those steps, rather than the steps themselves. WHOOP quantifies your cardiovascular exertion and your body's recovery, and makes recommendations based off of that.


WHOOP's Strain Coach measures your strain on a scale of 0-21, for the whole day and for specific activities, and can set goals for you to achieve each daily based off what level of strain you're capable of.

For 15% off a WHOOP membership, use the code SPORTSJOE at checkout HERE.

Here's why you should be tracking strain instead of steps...


Movement beyond steps

There are plenty of ways to get your heart beating without having to repeatedly put one foot in front of the other. Exercises like cycling, boxing, functional fitness, and even manual labour don’t always involve taking many steps but have significantly greater cardiovascular impact than the steps they require, due to additional motion and effort throughout your body. 


Physical exertion isn't the only thing that affects your heart rate. The common stresses of everyday life can affect your heart rate too, and take a toll on your body's recovery and its ability to reach your fitness goals.



Some days, you're more capable of strain that others. This can be down to factors like sleep, recovery and strain from previous days. Every morning, WHOOP Strain Coach will give you exertion-level recommendations, and these will be updated throughout the day.


Fitness gains

As you get fitter or stronger, you'll be able to see your improvements clearly with WHOOP. It tracks the progress you're making and adjusts its recommendations based on that. For example, as time goes on you you may notice a workout that routinely gave you 11 or 12 on the strain scale now only gives you a 10, so you'll need to change up your workout to continue making progress.

WHOOP is a 24/7 fitness tracker and health monitor that provides personalised, actionable feedback and tracks the key metrics that really matter. For 15% off a WHOOP membership, use the code SPORTSJOE at checkout. 

For more information on WHOOP, click here

Brought to you by WHOOP